NY stolen art fight ends in $19 million settlement

AP 21 July 2010

NEW YORK — A 12-year art dispute has ended with a deal calling for a painting entitled "Portrait of Wally" to be displayed at a Vienna museum, along with an acknowledgement that it was stolen from a Jewish art dealer by a Nazi agent.

The settlement announced Tuesday calls for the Leopold Museum to own the painting by Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele after paying $19 million to the estate of Lea Bondi Jaray.

Before it leaves the United States, the painting will be displayed at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan.

The painting was the subject of court proceedings in New York City since it was lent 12 years ago to the Museum of Modern Art in New York by the Leopold Museum.

A lawyer for the Leopold Museum didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Representatives of the Bondi estate say the settlement reflects the true value of the painting.
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